COVID-19 or not, LHSAA moves forward with plans for playoffs and sets state title games
BATON ROUGE -- The LHSAA Executive Committee recently voted to keep the football state championships in New Orleans despite the rumors of changes in the venue.
The state title games will be played on December 26-28, with all classes and divisions taking part in the Prep Classic. Last season, non-select schools held their championships at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome while select teams held state title games at neutral sites.
The LHSAA also voted to keep the starting date the same for the start of the playoffs, as well as the format. Post-season play for football begins on November 27, the day after Thanksgiving.
“I thought it (the voting) would go that way because I had talked to a few people on the committee,” LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine said. “But the key piece to the conversation for me was about when or if a COVID incident comes up in the playoffs, what would we do?”
“We’re averaging 10 to 13 instances a week,” Bonine continued. “It will happen. We needed to have a plan. And we decided to do what we are doing for volleyball. If cases or contact tracing prevents a team from playing, they are taken off the bracket and their opponent advances.”
There was some concern about playing the state championships in New Orleans because there will more than likely be COVID attendance limits. However, the committee thought the experience in the dome was too great.
“You see it every time on the faces of the players and coaches when the teams come through those doors and are on the floor of the Superdome for the first time,” Bonine said. “I feel like we need to try and give the teams and players that experience this year, regardless of how many fans we can have.”